GEAR REVIEWS

Check out the travel essentials I've found useful and functional on my recent travel adventures.


I first used Biolite's SolarPanel 5+ for my 20 day journey on the JMT. It easily snaps to the front or top of my pack and with its light weight, a bit under 14 ounces, I completely forget it's there. I love that it comes with an internal battery, keeping my days worth of sunshine stored directly in the unit. I would plug my phone or GoPro in at night via the USB port and come to a full charge in 30 minutes or less. Now I bring it on all my long-term backpacking, or even camping trips.   


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I love this bag. It has kept me toasty warm in snowstorms and never failed me. With a lower temp limit of 13 degrees Fahrenheit I love knowing that no matter the conditions I'm in, by night time I will be snug as a bug and have a good night's sleep. It's also water repellent and cute as hell. REI discontinued this bag and replaced it with a newer model, but it's virtually the same. The lower limit is actually even lower!


This tent and I are very close. We've been through everything together from rainstorms on the beaches in Hawaii to starry nights on the John Muir Trail. The setup is ridiculously easy and the tent itself is very spacious. There's always plenty of space when I share it with a friend and with its extra pockets and two-door access its so comfortable. Water never leaks in and I feel invincible when I'm using it as my shelter in the outdoors.


This is one of the coolest gadgets I have. This stove is fuel-free and instead has a battery powered fan that stokes a fire from twigs and a match. It also uses the electricity from your fire to charge your phone. I love how good this is for the environment, but the downside is that it's way heavier than your typical backpacking stove. I would recommend this bad ass stove for shorter trips or car camping.


This pack is my best friend. I spent a lot of time shopping for one before my first backpacking trip and decided on the Ariel for my tall frame. I'm 5'9" and can wear a small. The hip belt is so powerful it takes all the pressure off my shoulders, even when I foolishly overpack. I've carried it with 50lbs of gear and still made it up every mountain. Osprey is the absolute tops.


This pack is the perfect size to tuck into your backpack for day hikes. I brought it along the JMT and used it to carry my water, jackets, and snacks when climbing Mt. Whitney. It has a back pocket to put your water bladder in and every bag is uniquely made to order, so you don't know what color you're going to get. It has a hip belt and chest belt too!


For my 2 1/2 week trip through Europe in December, I wanted something smaller and easier than a backpacking pack that almost felt like a suitcase. The Outbreaker was exactly that. I couldn't believe how much I fit into it and with amazing straps and a removable hip belt, it was so comfortable. I hate traveling on public transportation with suitcases, so this was a dream come true. I highly recommend!